Archives

You are currently viewing archive for May 2007
Category: Immigration
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
This comment from Tocqueville regarding my previous post (read here) in re NRO and WSJ and their feud over immigration deserves a closer look. He takes umbrage at the ill-considered calumnious comments directed at the anti-immigration camp. Again, my point is that we ought to take care what we say (and how we say it) to one another in this debate.

Guest Blog: Tocqueville:

Of course, the WSJ has been inexcusably superficial, self-delusional, dismissive of history, dismissive of the both the objections and the opponents ("...anyone who calls this approach 'amnesty' has twisted the definition."), and, perhaps most stunningly, painfully naive in its reliance on the government to enforce the provisions of an immigration law, when the failure to enforce the last immigration law brought us to the present dilemma and the last immigration law was, in turn, a panic reaction to circumstances brought on by the failure to enforce the earlier predecessor law.

I wince at the insincerity and naivete explicit in the WSJ's reliance on the supposed voluntary return home of immigrants to wait in line to return. Right. Sure. The payment of fines and the learning of English. Right. Sure. Border security. Right. Sure. Biometrics-based employment. Right. Sure. Verfication. Right. Sure. (Did the WSJ not notice that the bill gives Homeland Security exactly one business day to conduct this verification and, failing that, the requirement vanishes?)

Not a word about the political reality that only 26% of the country favors the bill and over 50% flatly oppose it. Where is the "will of the people?" Not a word condemning the government for standing by impotently for decades while border security and immigration policy adulterated.

I would think that the 2006 US Sentencing Commission statistics would interest your readers and inform this issue. Last year in the Middle District of Florida 26.6% of the offenders were white, 27.7% were black, and 43.9% were Hispanic (pg. 188). In the Southern District of Texas 5.9% were white, 4.8% were black, and 88.7% were Hispanic. And etc. Not a word about who these illegals are and what they are doing. Just platitude and whitewash and delusion.

But I am not disappointed in the WSJ editorial page; it is what I expected. Anyone who applauds John McCain, the premier political opportunist of our time, for his supposed political courage obviously neither has nor even recognizes political courage.
~~Tocqueville
Category: Immigration
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Wow! Andrew Jackson could not have said it any plainer.

From the Editor's of the National Review:

We hereby challenge the [Wall Street] Journalís editors to debate the immigration bill in a neutral venue with a moderator of their choosing ó two or three of us versus any two or three of them. We propose to do it in Washington next week so it will have the maximum impact on the Senateís consideration of the most sweeping immigration reform in decades (time and place to be worked out in a mutually satisfactory fashion).

Read the entire piece here.

My prediction: WSJ accepts the invitation to meet on a modern-day field of honor, and we will have a great debate.

I can't wait. God Bless America.

One other vitally important thought to keep in mind: for those of us who see the anti-immigration conservatives as fundamentally misguided, we should understand that they are our brothers and, on this issue especially, are acting and speaking from the depths of their heart-felt, core convictions and love for America.
Category: Immigration
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Tocqueville and I disagree sharply on immigration. He has been sending highlights from the discussion on the web, which are noteworthy:

1. This powerful video.

Tocqueville says: The people in this video don't look like they are interested in compromise or consensus on the issue of amnesty for illegal immigrants:

Watch and hear the chilling images here.

2. From Fred Thompson:

"Most Americans know that we have an illegal immigration problem in this country, with perhaps as many as 20 million people residing here unlawfully. And I think most Americans have a pretty good idea about how to at least start solving the problem - secure our nation's borders.

"But there's an old saying in Washington that, in dealing with any tough issue, half the politicians hope that citizens don't understand it while the other half fear that people actually do. This kind of thinking was apparent with the "comprehensive" immigration reform bill that the U.S. Senate and the White House negotiated yesterday."

Read in full here.

3. Tocqueville says everyone should read this account of the legislation from Mark Steyn (read here).

Thanks Tocqueville.

UPDATE: Tocqueville continues to add resources to this list in the comments section. I invite you all to keep an eye on this link for the latest and most provocative commentaries (read here).
Category: Immigration
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Where Are We Now?

1. Our system of regulating immigration (especially immigration from Mexico) is so dysfunctional as to be non-existent.

2. We have no idea how many illegal aliens we are currently hosting in our nation, but most credible estimates indicate somewhere around 12,000,000 undocumented persons.

3. If we do nothing, immigration will continue to exist as an unrestrained force of nature, disturbed only by market variables.

4. The hard-line stance of many conservatives (an impermeable fence, massive deportations, an army on the border capable of maintaining complete security, etc.) is not politically possible in the foreseeable future.

Why?

The Democrats control both houses of Congress. They are content to allow the current system to continue unmolested.

The Republicans are divided on the issue between nativists and market-oriented, Wall Street Journal type conservatives, who believe that a large segment of the undocumented (illegal) population are essential to our economy.

The rest of America is mostly divided, ambivalent or apathetic; there is no national consensus for action at this moment.

5. Doing nothing means the continuation of a regime all of us (conservatives) can agree is bordering on disastrous.

6. We cannot get everything we want. We cannot even decide on what it is exactly that we want.

For the record, here is what I want:

--secure borders (as much as that is possible)

--national ID cards

--tough penalties for employers who employ illegal workers

--some humane system for allowing workers from Mexico to work for American employers as the need arises

--some humane system for allowing a larger percentage of those workers to become American citizens, recognizing our special relationship with Mexico and other neighbors to the South

What to do?

Join the process with reasonable expectations and honest intentions. Let's get in the game and help solve the problem.

An aside: Senator John McCain has shown himself an intrepid statesman on immigration--but a deaf, dumb and blind politician. His principled stand makes his already challenged campaign to win the Republican nomination even tougher. Nevertheless, I admire his grit.
Category: Immigration
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Last September (read original post here), I chastised Republicans for eschewing the opportunity to craft meaningful immigration legislation; instead, they chose to cast themselves as hardliners on immigration, portraying Democrats as soft-headed multiculturalists in favor of an open-border. The problem with that strategy, I said back then, was that it was a low-percentage gamble on an unpredictable future.

What if the 110th was the last Congress in which a GOP majority ruled both Houses with a Republican president holding forth at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue? Eschewing a thorny compromise in favor of a short-term boost of political adrenaline risked that nothing got done on immigration, for a long time. Back then, as well as now, doing nothing meant de facto amnesty and affirming a status quo that almost all of us agree is unacceptable.

As I predicted, the vaunted immigration gambit as a defining and motivating difference between the parties turned out to be 100 percent impotent as a political strategy. Bad politics and bad policy.

Now the Democrats are in control of Congress, and we are getting a fairly weak immigration bill; nevertheless, as Senator Jon Kyl points out, a flawed bill is better than nothing).

So, looking back, the Republican House and the conservative grassroots declined the opportunity to create an imperfect but necessary law through a process that they controlled. Today, they wake up to find themselves on the outside looking in, befuddled and angry.